The featured image for the TTRPGs for Trans Rights in Texas bundle

Feature

TechRaptor's Top Picks From The TTRPGs for Trans Rights in Texas Bundle

March 15, 2022

By: Tyler Chancey

 
 

Recently, the TTRPGs for Trans Rights in Texas bundle launched on Itch. It was a major concerted effort by many talented developers in the tabletop space to raise awareness and condemn the recent actions by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to harass and destroy the livelihoods of trans youth. The proceeds for the bundle all went to the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) and Organización Latina de Trans en Texas (OLTT).

Well, we here at TechRaptor pledged some money to this bundle and looked over the 493 different RPGs, books, and resources provided in the bundle. Below are 10 of the items we wish to highlight either for their uniqueness, novelty, or the aid they provide for your TTRPG experience. This is by no means a definitive list. However, if any of these games or resources look entertaining, everything below and so much more waits you for a few dollars.

 

A cartoon shark, skull faced man, and a clown holding a baby
Image Credit: Meghan Murphy

10. 3 Baddies and a Baby by Mr. Ray

So the premise goes something like this. You and two other players are supervillains living together in an apartment. Eldritch horrors from beyond mortal understanding? A killer shark man? Just a really good bank robber with a gimmick? It doesn't matter. What matters is your landlord is threatening to evict all three of you in a few short days and will not be hearing any complaints or death threats otherwise.

Since you're all supervillains, you decide to pull off a daring bank heist in order to raise the money. But, just as you are about to go down, one of your characters' aunt drops off your baby niece or nephew completely unannounced and tells you to look after the little scamp. A little scamp that may or may not have superpowers. So now you have to pull off a bank heist while avoiding arrest from the police or the local caped heroes and you're on a time limit and you are stuck with a baby.

 
 

Overall, 3 Baddies and a Baby is a very simple one-page TTRPG. You just need a d20 and a d12 for all respective rolls. However, the basic absurd premise is guaranteed fun for a casual beer and pretzels time with your group.

The text of the game in front of a screenshot of a tavern
Image Credit: StarshineScribbles

9. If It Wasn't For... by StarshineScribbles

In the same vein of casual play, If It Wasn't For... is a barroom improv singing game. No dice or cards are needed for this game, just a couple of glasses and a table for you guys to sit at. The rules are simple with one player acting as the Bartender and the rest as the patrons. Three improvised verses are sung (or talk sung if you're self-conscious) and starts with the phrase “If it wasn't for ____, I would have been ___.” Players take turns spinning silly or sad stories about why they have hit the sauce and whoever gets the most support by the table is the winner.

 
 

It's a fun and quick little party game that can also be used to give some character or charm to the otherwise dreary fantasy set up of a group meeting in a tavern to start a quest. It's a set up with a lot of versatility as well as being a fun game in its own right.

A black and white image of a detective over a city sprawling out like a maze
Image Credit: Turtlebun

8. Noirlandia by Turtlebun

There are quite a handful of noir detective inspired RPGs in the TTRPGs for Trans Rights in Texas bundle. In fact, honorable mention to A Dirty World created by GregStolze for it's surprisingly elegant use of the One Roll system and for shear presentation.

But Noirlandia makes it on to this list since it's that rare TTRPG that makes worldbuilding just as fun as character creation. It is a lot more complex since it requires twelve six-sided dice, a deck of playing cards with the jokers removed, a pair of scissors, some cards and string, and a corkboard. Yes, much like an actual noir detective at the end of his rope trying to bring a case together, your group will need a corkboard and string to piece together your world and detective story. A whiteboard and some markers are another alternative.

But if you want an exercise in understanding the tone and mood of Film Noir while making your own unique version of a city caught in corruption and moral decay, Noirlandia is a great brainstorm session wrapped up in a TTRPG package.

 
 
Artwork of the character Adelaide from the TTRPG Backwater
Image Credit: Backwater Games

7. Backwater by Backwater Games

Imagine if you will a post-apocalyptic world where your character is trying to keep order in a place ravaged by monsters and the cruelty of your fellow men. Too derivative? What if it was set in the American Deep South with the monsters wandering swamps and bayous? Congratulations, you now know the set-up for the horror TTRPG, Backwater. If you want a different take on horror that isn't just vampires or Lovecraftian terrors, give this a look.

Artwork of a pair of held hands on a beach at sunset
Image Credit: Jacqueline Bryk

6. Playing Kindly by Jacqueline Bryk

A slight change from the bundle so far is the following zine by Jacqueline Bryk. Essentially, it's a collection of short stories and discussions from the author regarding their experiences with trauma and personal identity during their time with TTRPGs and with LARPing. Contained are some genuinely sweet and impactful rules and tips for mindful play within your own gaming sessions as well as a personal and intimate look at how the hobby can lead to greater self-understanding.

The cover art for Meteor RPG
Image Credit: Alessandro Arena-DeRosa

5. I Got Hit By A Meteor & Was Reincarnated as the Hero of a Tabletop RPG by AlessandroMD

That's right, not even TTRPGs are safe from the storytelling tropes and conceits of isekai anime. This is a full conversion of rules for Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons and is only intended for veteran TTRPG players. This is because the rules mess around with expectations and expect a lot of unexpected improv on behalf of the players. It's a great way to spice up character creation and even set an absurdist tone for your potential session 0.

The cover art of the TTRPG Inspirisles
Image Credit: HatchlingDM

4. Inspirisles by HatchlingDM

Inspirisles is a fantasy TTRPG that draws heavily from Celtic mythology and faerie folk tales. It deals with the concepts of magic and belief. Also there are some fantastical clockwork and steampunk elements peppered throughout for good measure.

But what helps it stand out even more is that it contains a bit of tangential learning: the use of American Sign Language (ASL) and Blind Sign Language (BSL) tucked away in its pages. Basically, you learn symbols and your characters, referred to as Pendragons, spell out the letters in ASL to communicate or perform magical acts with certain creatures. If you want to broaden your horizons or help gain interest in a less talked about form of communication, this is not a bad place to start with your group.

The cover art for An Altogether Different River
Image Credit: Aaron Lim

3. An Altogether Different River by Aaron Lim

Back to a more serious minded experience, we have An Altogether Different River, a TTRPG experience that embodies the phrase, “you can never go home again.” It's a GM-less game where you and your players take on the role of long-time friends returning to the town of their youth for some reason. The word use of the RPG is equal parts bittersweet and romantic, perfectly encapsulating the complex emotions that come when confronting the reckless decisions of one's youth. It's not exactly fun in the conventional sense, but it can be cathartic if your group opts in.

A human warrior, birdman, and lizard warrior all brandishing weapons
Image Credit: Creature Curation

2. World of Revilo by Creature Curation

World of Revilo is a campaign setting for Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons. It has some pretty metal worldbuilding regarding dead gods and some solid history complete with some unique character races. Furthermore, it includes new subclasses, including the College of Gourmet (literally being creative with food) for Bards.

While there have been plenty of third-party supplements like this, World of Revilo stands out as an example of having your cake and eating it too. Wizards of the Coast have recently done their best to streamline and reduce more problematic elements of the world of DnD (less emphasis on racial bonuses, the removal of racial alignments, etc.) they've also downplayed in-depth lore and worldbuilding that would inform more cultural foundations for their races and worlds. Revilo is rough in spots (the artwork is hit and miss for one) but it is a solid rebuttal to such wide sweeps under the rug.

Two women of color with their swords locked, giving each other flirtatious looks
Image Credit: Evil Hat Productions

1. Thirsty Sword Lesbians by Gay Spaceship Games

What happens when you take the erotic sapphic subtext of of Revolutionary Girl Utena, the emotional maturity and wholesome energy of Stephen Universe, and filter it all through a swashbuckling adventure of swordfights and the transformative power of love? Well, you get Thirsty Sword Lesbians.

All you need to know about this RPG is that in the first few pages it gives you tips on flirting with a potential sword maiden, tells fascists and bigots to get out (although does allow your group to confront such issues if they so choose), and includes multiple sensitivity tools. Combat is resolved with two six-sided dice and is more about the emotional stakes of a fight than the fight itself. You want to be a queer disaster that gets some help from their friends? This is the RPG for you.

a candid selfie of the staff writer, husky build, blond hair, caucasian.
Staff Writer

Born in 1990, Tyler Chancey's earliest memories were of an NES controller in his hands, and with it a passion that continued into his adulthood. He's written for multiple sites, has podcasted, and has continued to shape and encourage new talent to greater heights.